Puss in boots: Watson the 'handicat' can finally walk again!

By Kim Abrahams
12 April 2017

Watson was born with radial hypoplasia, a genetic disease that has caused his front paws to twist inwardly.

His soft white-and-brown fur, along with those striking green eyes, makes him undeniably cute. And as odd as it may sound, his disability makes him all the more adorable!

Meet Watson the cat – a literal puss in boots.

Watson was born with radial hypoplasia, a genetic disease that's caused his front paws to twist inward.

it's a sleep all day kinda Saturday

A post shared by melanie lusnak (@handi.cat) on

American animal welfare organisation Almost Home Animal Rescue League rescued him as a kitten and he was later adopted by Melanie Lusnak, an animal-lover who was determined to do everything in her power to give the kitty a better life.

“I was looking to adopt a kitten and found Watson on Pet Finder,” says Lusnak, an office manager at Precision Chiropractic in Michigan. “I was looking for a cat with special needs, as I had previously looked after a cat with a missing leg.

“The minute I saw Watson it was love at first sight. His paws were so badly twisted that I knew I needed to help him.”

Read more: ‘Animals are capable of love!’ Photographer captures animals’ tender moments in moving photo series

The 28-year-old did everything she could to ease Watson's suffering – and he was just as determined not to let his disability hold him back.

PHOTO: Instagram PHOTO: Instagram

"No matter how many pillows and blankets littered the floor of our house, Watson would still fall or stumble," she says.

"His determination would get him up the stairs in our house, but soon after a loud cry would follow, which is my cue to come running so he can be carried down the steps."

Animal Orthocare, an animal prosthesis specialist, came to the rescue and owner Derrick Campana developed custom-made prosthetics for Watson, using mouldings of the cat’s front legs.

Watson wearing his prosthetic boots. PHOTO: Facebook Watson wearing his prosthetic boots. PHOTO: Facebook

As adorable as the little boots may be, it still doesn’t promise a "normal" cat life for Watson.

"Even with prosthetics, Watson won't be able to walk, run and jump like a normal cat would," Musnak says. "The position he's in doesn't lend to good posture, and just like with humans, this can lead to pain and discomfort."

Dr Christina Cole, an animal chiropodist (or feet doctor), regularly evaluates Watson to ensure that he continues to get the best treatment he can.

If Watson’s story has tugged at your heartstrings, Musnak has set up a website, Handi-Cat, where she documents her beloved feline friend’s story.

Sources: telegraph.co.uk, metro.co.uk, facebook.com

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